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Ozzy Osbourne, Blizzard of Ozz
Released in 1980, this is Osbourne’s debut album after leaving Black Sabbath and it features a number of Ozzy classics including “Mr. Crowley,” “I Don’t Know” and “Crazy Train.”
Sonically the sound is good, but it doesn’t match the best reference recordings from the audiophile community. Where the album does work well for system demos is the quality of the songs and in the prowess of deceased Osbourne guitar player Randy Rhoads, who manually multi-tracked the albums guitar parts. In depth listening of these songs reveals multi-layered rhythm guitar tracks that can be heard in the left and right speakers respectively. This recording technique adds depth to the song without adding complex chord changes or time signatures to the song’s melody.
Signature Test Track: “Crazy Train” Today through the use of digital technologies many artists can easily cut-and-paste parts together to form a song. Rhoads however was a technically gifted player that was able to duplicate his guitar solos to enable the album’s engineer/producer Max Norman to create guitar solos that were sonically huge within the mix. Listen to how the solo of this song in how the left and right channels “interweave” to merge with the third track that was recorded down the middle of the mix to form one of rock music’s best guitar solos ever recorded.
Read more: 22 Demo Albums that Actually Rock